Not All Good for Cats and Dogs?

Appearing before the Oceanside City Council on June 30, Elaine Godzak presented her opinion on the effect of the North County Humane Society's merger with the San Diego Humane Society, which occurred earlier this year.

“It turns out that it’s not all good for cats and dogs,” said Godzak, who previously served as a volunteer for the North County Humane Society. She said that the North County Humane Society employed a “proactive rescue outreach process” because they would contact animal rescues and let them know which dogs would be put down.

However, according to Godzak, the San Diego Humane Society abolished that process after the merger because they believed that the general public and animal rescues are not capable of determining whether the dogs are suitable for adoption.

“They use a behavior-assessment methodology void of common sense,” Godzak said. “San Diego Humane Society seems to be oblivious to modern studies…. [For them] it’s just easier to put the animals in death row in lieu of fairly assessing them to determine what they might need and then determine what home might be appropriate.... San Diego Humane Society is acting like a generations-ago dog pound."

Even though money has been spent to improve the humane society facilities on Gaines Street, Godzak said she believes that it is just a nicer facility where they can put more animals to death. Instead, she stated that they should be spending their resources on trying to figure out the behavioral needs of animals.

Godzak said she was told that the merger would reduce the euthanasia rate of animals but she doesn’t believe that result has come to fruition. Upon asking for records, she alleged that the San Diego Humane Society had no intention of letting anyone see the data for adoptions and euthanasia.

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"Upon asking for records, she alleged that the San Diego Humane Society had no intention of letting anyone see the data for adoptions and euthanasia."

These statistics can be found on the website for the San Diego Humane Society at: http://www.sdhumane.org/site/DocServer/Asilomar_01_10_to_03_10.pdf?docID=3641

(The page above represents the most recent available, from the first quarter of 2010.)

Previous quarter, from October through December 2009: http://www.sdhumane.org/site/DocServer/Asilomar_10_09_to_12_09.pdf?docID=3643

This site explains the Asilomar Accords: http://www.asilomaraccords.org/frequently_asked_questions.html

SD Humane Society euthanasia overview webpage: http://www.sdhumane.org/site/PageServer?pagename=abt_EuthanasiaPolicy

Euthanasia Policy: http://www.sdhumane.org/site/DocServer/6-2005_Euthanasia_Policy.pdf?docID=221

Since no credentials are given for Elaine Godzak, I Googled her, and found her here: http://itsthepitsrescue.wordpress.com/2010/03/11/ex-volunteers-at-animal-shelter-allege-unnecessary-killings/

Godzak is a pit bull advocate. If the data above is accurate, San Diego shelters manage to maintain a truly amazing live release rate, in spite of the fact that the majority of dogs in any one shelter are pit bulls. A few weeks ago, I counted 34 pit bulls or pit bull blends of 57 available dogs at the central county shelter. SIXTY percent. Sixty percent of resources going to one out-of-control breed.

Based on the above, Godzak's objections seem to concern dogs, not "dogs and cats." We might further be able to guess that all of her complaints are specifically about the euthanization of pit bulls.

I wonder who anitgeekess is. She obviously does not know Elaine Godzak, but relys on what she reads. Same with her statistics from SDHS.

Did you not know that the adoption and euthanasia records you are quoting from are apples and oranges? The first one is just San Diego Humane, Gaines St. The second one is both North and South. And the statistics we are asking for are not in those reports. We, in Oceanside, want to know what happened to the dogs and cats that were trucked down from Oceanside to San Diego between Jan 11 and July 4th. We are asking about OUR dogs and cats. The animals that our animal control contract pays for. We want to know how many were adopted, how many reclaimed, how many sent to resuce and how many were euthanized.

Mark Goldstein has instructed his attorney, his public relations person and his staff to refuse the City of Oceanside their request for these numbers.

Oh--about Pit Bulls. Elaine and I have personally funded a spay/neuter clinic for pitbulls. We work with SNAP to spay and neuter as many of these breed and mixes thereof as possible. We work with the low income areas of Oceanside--Every month we work with community groups, neighborhood kids and homeless dudes to get them to understand the problem we have in Oceanside: too many pitbulls! We are well aware of the overpopulation. But when I asked San Diego Humane Society to help us spay and neuter, they said no. Why? "Oh, we don't want to be in competition with vets".

Trust me. Any veterinarian worth his or her salt knows that the people we work with are not able to afford retail services.

Anyway, my point is that San Diego Humane Society does not necessarily always tell the truth, or do the right thing for animals. We need to push them a little, to make them see that they can do more with a $10 million budget, to find homes for the animals who are homeless, and to turn off the tap of unwanted animals by creating a robust spay and neuter program.

I'm not a pit bull advocate, but they are the main breed in Oceanside. I want to save the good ones and cut back the breeding of the nasty guys. It's a slog, but it's doable if we work together.

I wonder who anitgeekess is as well. Probably someone that just wants to believe the PUBLIC information and not really dig deeper -- public info is fine -- but Elaine wants to see the raw data and that is what she is digging into -- the raw data that the public isn't meant to see that explains why each animal is killed. So you are making assumptions about Elaine based on 1 google hit? How sad and you are the type of person that makes it hard when we are just trying to save worthwhile animals. And just so you know, they aren't all pitties -- saved from death row a purebred Golden Retriever, purebred white Boxer, purebred Basset Hound, 2 5 mos old kittens, etc. These were just last week. So even though you can google info on policies and practices of SDHS, you cannot make assumptions that they are following these things to the letter. SDHS runs like a business and sadly the animals pay the price. And it's all animals there and Elaine is speaking out for them.

Interesting site you linked, AG. I noticed that the picture on their home page is of cute little dogs, no pitbull anywhere in sight.

I personally have no use for pitbulls. If this organization is really having an impact through spay and neutering ALL pitbulls, then I'm all for it. This is a breed there is no use for, when you think of all the good dog breeds available for adoption.

However, if your beef is with the organization you merged with, then unmerge and keep your problem children to yourselves up there in North County. Believe me, there is no need for more pitbulls here in San Diego.

Have a nice day. :)

Any organization such as SDHS that refuses to actively work with rescue groups to place dogs or cats they deem unsuitable for adoption is living in the dark ages. I recently rescued and am fostering a dog labeled "aggresive"--slated to be PTS-- from an LA shelter and she has proven to be anything but! She is one of many that was given an unfair assessment and therefore a death sentence.

There are many breeds that are misrepresented --given a bad rap-- whether Pit Bulls, Rottweilers, Mastiffs, German Shepherds etc. It really comes down to the issue of owner responsibility. There are so many of these breeds in the shelters any group that is willing and able to devote time and resources should be welcomed with open arms and coorperation.

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